Smriti Zaneveld founded Houston-based Lazarus 3D to transform the way surgeons are trained. She was one of the winners of USPAACC’s 2019 What’s Your Pitch competition. We checked in with her to see how her company has grown and get her advice for future contestants.This year’s pitch competition will be held online. Applications are open until June 15th.Read More
2019 Year End Letter from our President & CEO
Happy New Year!
I am pleased to report that the state of Pan Asian American business is vibrant; and USPAACC which will celebrate 35 years of opening doors and connecting Pan Asian American businesses to Fortune companies, government agencies, large nonprofits, and other minority and diverse entrepreneurs to do business with each other, is strong.
Pan Asian American Community
The 25 million Pan Asian Americans living in the U.S. will report $1 trillion in buying power in 2020. The 2 million Pan Asian American businesses that produced $699.5 billion in revenue and employed over 3 million people in 2012, have also experienced marked growth.
Of the 87 U.S. start-up companies valued at over $1 billion, 19 (22%) were founded by Asians. The 796 most engaged USPAACC members brought in a total of $11.9 billion in annual revenue. We are pleased that increasingly, major corporations, government and quasi-government organizations, as well as large nonprofits are taking notice of this economic segment.
USPAACC Daily Mission
As the most established (1984) and largest (national office in DC + 6 regional chapters) Pan Asian American business organization, our daily job is to identify, develop and connect Pan Asian American businesses to contract opportunities in Fortune, Forbes and Global companies, governments at the federal, state and local levels, and large nonprofits, and the diverse business community. To that end, we organized over 80 national and regional programs and events in 2019. I’d like to highlight some of the most popular and high impact programs and activities, and select photographs so the pictures could speak the thousand words
Imbued with an immigrant mind-set: self-reliance, can-do spirit, and perseverance, Asian American businesses are essential characters in the success story that makes America the envy of the world. They are resourceful, eager to please their customers, and would walk the extra mile.
Besides the West Coast, New York and Texas, Pan Asian Americans are growing fast in the Northeast, Midwest, and the South; exactly where USPAACC has been focusing our attention in the last 15 years, through our national and regional programs.
USPAACC Certification, An Important Credential
In 2019, our Asian American & Minority Business Certification gained increased visibility as additional corporations learned about our “solid gold” centralized document examination, site visit, and legal review. Our Certification has opened more doors to opportunities for members which they would not have otherwise. Get Certified!
Annual Conference CelebrASIAN Business + Procurement Conference
Chaired by Angie Klett, Senior Vice President IT CFO and Chief Procurement Officer at Nationwide, CelebrASIAN, a packed 3-day event, continues to be our most popular and impactful. It’s because we create the environment for Pan Asian American and other minority businesses to seize new opportunities, all under one roof. We bring together decision-makers from Fortune andother major corporations, government agencies, large nonprofits, and other minority and diverse entrepreneurs to the conference where qualified businesses could hear, meet and start a dialogue with them and/or exchange information, answer questions, etc., in 10 different settings. Among them, the CPO Forum, CIO/CTO Forum, iBuilders, Doing Business With Workshops, C-Suite Executive Academy, MSP, “What’s Your Pitch: Innovation Meets the Market” Competition, and of course our 20-year old signature One-on-One Prescheduled Business Matchmaking Meetings, are all standing-room only. The impacts were immeasurable. The buying party got what they come for, and the supplying party too.
Nationwide is honored with Corporation of the Year Award for its leadership role in Chairing the very popular CPO Forum twice and spearing-heading our CPO Council which collaborated with Howard University in presenting our first on-campus CPO Panel on “Global Business and Supply Chain Disruptors – What Are They and How can Students Prepare to Help Address these Disruptors?” Conference Chair Angie Klett also facilitates the forthcoming publication by ISM of a research paper on risk management by Howard University School of Business students. The paper is based on their interviews with 8 CPOs and literature research. The CPOs are from Nationwide, Caesars Entertainment, Disney, Ingersoll Rand, Marriott, PG&E, US Bank, and AARP.
Requests for Suppliers
2019 has been a busy year for responding to our corporation members’ requests for referral of suppliers for specific contract opportunities. They range from low tech to high tech - soy sauce, to sushi to cybersecurity.
For Our Champions in Corporations
Our Supplier Diversity Managers & Buyers Caucus was as popular and impactful as planned with 120 participating. This year was especially special because we invited buyers to the Caucus so the discussions were more dynamic and more informative with practicable outcomes. They especially find our One-on-One Prescheduled Business Matchmaking Meetings the reason to be at USPAACC - We identify, develop and connect qualified Pan Asian American businesses to them. Join us!
Our 3rd annual Asian American Employee Business & Resource Group Leadership Caucus, specially designed for corporation employees, has increased momentum because of the growing numbers participating, 60, and the focus on the overall goals, objectives and strategy.
Business Express: ReadySetGrow
Our 2-day intensive Business Express: ReadySetGrow executive coaching workshops held in Sugarland, Texas in partnership with the Asian Chamber of Commerce (ACC) of Houston, was filled to capacity. The executives were impressed. ACC wanted to do more so we held additional equally impactful workshops at our annual CelebrASIAN Business + Procurement Conference in Houston in June.
Another ReadySetGrow was presented in San Jose at California Water, with Apple’s Mike Chop as the guest speaker.
Training Today’s Diverse Chamber of Commerce Leaders & Planning for Tomorrow
With generous support from Wells Fargo, USPAACC formed the Chamber Leadership Alliance with the NGLCC, US Black Chambers, and USHCC. We designed the curriculum and presented the first of a 6-month long Chamber Leadership Development Program to train current and future leaders from the African, Asian, Hispanic, LGBTQ, Women, Disability, and Veteran business organizations in Houston in June. We continued to work on promoting participation at subsequent programs held in Tampa, Florida; National Harbor, Maryland; and Albuquerque, New Mexico. The program concluded with 3 webinars on building capacity through a professional, effective and result-orientated fundraising strategy in October and November. The knowledge transferred was exceptional, participants told us in their survey.
Business Leadership Series (BLS) Webinar
In our 5th year, we presented 15 live webinars in 2019. Topics ranged from starting, managing, and growing an entrepreneurial venture, to how to get your foot in the door of Fortune corporations and government agencies and present your business case so they would contract with you, and many other timely topics.
C-Suite Executive Academy
Our proud C-Suite Executive Academy: Talent Management, and Reflections as well as Lessons Learned by corporate executives, were high on the agenda for growing small businesses.
Being a Good Collaborating Partner
In addition to the Chamber Leadership Alliance, we also work with Caesars Entertainment, CVS Health, Merck, and Southern California Edison in their vendor education and outreach efforts. At Caesars’ Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Summit, I shared the stage with AT&T’s Rachel Klutz, VP Strategic Initiatives, Global Supply Chain. Our perspectives on how Supplier Diversity has evolved to meet changing market demands and global economics, and what corporations, enabling organizations like USPAACC, and suppliers are doing to match market demands, were as valued as welcomed by the attentive audience representing corporations serous about diversity, equity and inclusion. At Merck, USHCC CEO Ramiro Cavazos and I joined representatives from NGLCC, NMSDC, Disability:IN, National Veteran Owned Business Council, and WBENC in a broad dialogue that included Tier 1 and Tier 2 spends, war for talents, and how to work across diverse communities to take supplier diversity to the next level of efficacy.
In partnership with the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), USPAACC advocates for reasonable regulations and tax cuts for small businesses. Our 4-year mutually beneficial collaborative relationship has brought immeasurable benefits to our members, enabled them to create jobs. We exchange speakers at our respective annual conferences. Our members learned more about doing business in the construction industry while USPAACC addresses ABC conferences on the value of diversity in suppliers and talents in the work force.
As a member of the Federal Communications Commission Advisory Committee, USPAACC National President and CEO Susan Au Allen represents one of the strongest voices for an effective supplier diversity program at the FCC. The FCC regulates the radio, TV, and phone industries, all interstate communications such as wire, satellite and cable, and 11 international communications originating and terminating in the U.S. Since joining the Committee, USPAACC brought a higher level of attention and energy as well as discussions about opening doors of opportunities for small, minority, and diverse businesses. In 2020, USPAACC will also focus on bringing technology to underserved areas in the country and finding opportunities in “Universal Services” for the underserved.
College Scholarship Program
In our 30th year since we started our college scholarship program with a $1,000 scholarship for an Asian American high school senior who demonstrated academic excellence, community service, and financial need, we have been fortunate to receive continued support from corporations and Pan Asian American entrepreneurs. In 2019 we awarded 18 $3,500 to $5,000 college scholarships.
USPAACC Southeast Regional Chapter wins Chapter of the Year Award - for an active and engaged board of directors, and sustained programs that serve the needs and interests of members and supporters from corporations, government agencies, and the Pan Asian American and other diverse business community.
The Southeast Chapter held, among other business development programs, their annual Diversity in Action (DiA) Dinner in the Atlanta Aquarium recognizing local heroes and regional achievers in business, and presented scholarships to college-bound students.
This year, at USPAACC Southwest Regional Chapter annual Asian Business Expo, the Asian Chamber of Commerce of Houston (ACC) also attended. After their unprecedented and delightful 15 experience partnering with USPAACC National at CelebrASIAN Business + Procurement Conference in Houston in June, they want to reach out to USPAACC Southwest chapter and look forward to more collaboration at the state level.
USPAACC Northeast Regional Chapter held its annual InspirASIAN American Leadership Awards Program to recognize their Top 10 Asian American Businesses. Dr. William K. Kapfer of JPMorganChase was awarded the Humanitarian Award. The Chapter elected Khoa Le to be Chapter President effective January 1, 2020.
USPAACC Western Regional Chapter has new leadership. Sandhya Mukkamala and Deepti Dewar are Co-Presidents. They held two events since taking office. The Business Express: ReadySetGrow executive coaching in San Jose, and an executive networking luncheon in Sunnyvale, California.
USPAACC Midwest Regional Chapter will be led by Mark Allen, a University of Chicago graduate in Economics. He worked for a start-up, then a major corporation. Now, he works 17 exclusively in corporation relations at USPAACC. An evangelist to existing and new corporation members, he helps to streamline Corporation Member access to suppliers in conjunction with the Asian American Business and Program Departments.
Dear friends, all this good work and more could not have been possible without your support and participation in one way or another. The quickest and easiest way to support USPAACC is when you join and become a member. We love it when you join the USPAACC family and network. Participating in activities we organize with you in mind, coming to our annual conference, and sponsoring our programs – could mean that we are on the right track, and that we are delivering on our mission, goals and objectives.
On behalf of the entire USPAACC organization, I hope we have met one of these tests, and thank you for all you do to ascertain equal opportunities for Pan Asian American businesses.
Happy New Year and see you at our 35th Anniversary CelebrASIAN Business + Procurement Conference on June 2 - 4, 2020 in Bethesda, Maryland!
Susan Au Allen
National President & CEO